Find the word definition

Crossword clues for retch

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The smell from the creek was enough to make you retch.
▪ Everyone saw him slide suddenly from his horse and bend, retching and whistling, into the grass.
▪ Fourth Aunt listened with alarm to the sound of the middle-aged woman retching.
▪ He felt his stomach heave and he retched against the wall.
▪ He wants to retch but he does not want to make a sound.
▪ I followed one up the motorway just yesterday and it was all I could do to not retch.
▪ I took off my jacket, laid it on the bed, walked to the bucket, and retched.
▪ Nausea of vomiting or retching with great anxiety.
▪ Only fear kept him from retching when he had taken a long drink.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Retch \Retch\ (r[e^]ch or r[=e]ch; 277), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Retched (r[e^]cht); p. pr. & vb. n. Retching.] [AS. hr[ae]can to clear the throat, hawk, fr. hraca throat; akin to G. rachen, and perhaps to E. rack neck.] To make an effort to vomit; to strain, as in vomiting.

Beloved Julia, hear me still beseeching! (Here he grew inarticulate with retching.)


Retch \Retch\, v. t. & i. [See Reck.] To care for; to heed; to reck. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1540s, originally "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm," from Old English hræcan "to cough up, spit" (related to hraca "phlegm"), from Proto-Germanic *khrækijan (cognates: Old High German rahhison "to clear one's throat"), of imitative origin (compare Lithuanian kregeti "to grunt"). Meaning "to make efforts to vomit" is from 1850; sense of "to vomit" is first attested 1888. Related: Retched; retching.


n. an unsuccessful effort to (l/en: vomit) vb. To make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; to strain, as in vomiting.

  1. n. an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting; "a bad case of the heaves" [syn: heave]

  2. v. eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth; "After drinking too much, the students vomited"; "He purged continuously"; "The patient regurgitated the food we gave him last night" [syn: vomit, vomit up, purge, cast, sick, cat, be sick, disgorge, regorge, puke, barf, spew, spue, chuck, upchuck, honk, regurgitate, throw up] [ant: keep down]

  3. make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; strain to vomit [syn: gag, heave]

Usage examples of "retch".

The nurse handed me some amobarbital to stop the convulsing, but before I could give it I realized that instead of convulsions, he had what some call the dry heaves, a kind of retching.

I turn and I leap for her, to touch her, to complete the circuit, a last desperate attempt to bring her with me, and my outstretched hands pass through her translucent, insubstantial chest, and I fall, gasping and retching out my anger, alone on the transfer platform of the Cavea, in the Studio, in San Francisco.

Immense wings beat the air that reached the women and ponies, filling their noses with a stink so foul it made Daine retch.

Half a mile from the tracks he fell to his knees again, and gagged and retched as he vomited up the whisky and his own disgust.

Reverend Juniper Jackman bent over, chest working like a bellows, retching as he tried to get his wind back.

A sudden wave of nausea hit Barrett causing him to run to the bathroom, vomiting and retching until he thought there was no more left of his insides.

I can only say further that his paunchy torso and pimply buttocks and spindly limbs, when totally exposed, were a sight to make most onlookers retch up their most recent meal.

The putrification around him was so rank he could hardly bear it without retching, yet he was too weak.

He rolled off the bed and staggered queasily toward the dressing room, pitching forward over the sink, heaving and retching.

He retched at this memory, the bile rising suddenly in his throat, and turned quickly away in need of a discreet placea plant pot, maybe, or an open windowwhere he might vomit.

Toranaga retched again and spat out the phlegm, treading water, and thought, that will teach you to be smug.

Someone retched, and Chade, tight-breathed, told them to get out of the room until called for.

He retched in agony until, at last, his heaving stomach became convinced further efforts would yield no further results.

Frantically he gasped and retched then he blundered across the floor, collided with the pram wheels and fell on his side.

After that she retched but there was nothing more to come out, for that was all she had had for breakfast, because she was overweight and wanted to reduce at any price and tried all sorts of diets which, however, she seldom stuck to.